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smelling salts

noun, (used with a plural verb)
a preparation for smelling, essentially of ammonium carbonate with some agreeable scent, used as a stimulant and restorative.
Origin of smelling salts
First recorded in 1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for smelling salts
Historical Examples
  • He found ointment for her burns; smelling salts; damp cloths.

    Creatures of Vibration Harl Vincent
  • Maybe the smelling salts had something to do with it, but I rather think not.

  • There was a woman in tears, offering her bottle of smelling salts to a girl.

    Madge Morton's Secret

    Amy D. V. Chalmers
  • "If you don't mind—I'd like to give you my smelling salts," offered Ruth.

  • Have another whiff of these smelling salts and you'll feel better.

    By Proxy Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Give me the smelling salts, Charlotte, love; mine does ache indeed!

    Handy Andy, Volume One Samuel Lover
  • Miss asked for her smelling salts, and declared the place was stifling.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • He reached for his smelling salts, held them to his nose, and closed his eyes.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • Some good mothers in Israel were for handing him up their smelling salts.

    Southern Hearts Florence Hull Winterburn
  • She felt her knees wabble and with an effort seized a bottle of smelling salts.

    Max Fargus Owen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for smelling salts

smelling salts

plural noun
a pungent preparation containing crystals of ammonium carbonate that has a stimulant action when sniffed in cases of faintness, headache, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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smelling salts in Medicine

smelling salts pl.n.
Any of various preparations of ammonium carbonate and perfume, sniffed as a restorative or stimulant especially to relieve faintness and headache.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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